Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stupid Apocalypse

It's official. Our country's gone completely, hopelessly bonkers. In what I guess is an attempt to compete with FauxNews, CNN is putting apocalyptic fundie nutjobs on the air [also see here and here.] to talk about the current mideast crisis and how it relates to the "End Times". Apparently this is supposed to be a reasonable position we all need to take seriously.

Jerry Falwell gets his two evil cents in as well. And here's more religious silliness, masquerading as a sober, thoughtful editorial in USA Today. And if USA Today's on the beat, you know there's a genuine pop culture trend going on here.

Here's a TNR piece from last April on the same topic, back when the pope kicked off. Which is relevant because the fundies are always at it, and they always see current events as the end of the world, and the media's always right there enabling them. Never mind that what's happening in Lebanon right now is an exceedingly small war by the region's historical standards.

The rest of the world's busy trying to figure out why Dubya & Co. aren't doing anything to resolve the fighting in Lebanon. Well, it's because the inmates are running the asylum, that's why. They're sure the world's about to end in a colossal bloodbath, and they're totally stoked about it. Check out the state of the art in fundie megachurch extravaganzas, and tell me they aren't the inmates. So long as these people run our country, it's just going to be war after war after war, in every corner of the globe.

I'd really like to know when, and how, it became "reasonable" to argue that entire countries full of people need to be exterminated for Jesus / Yahweh / Allah / Mammon / Dubya / Exxon / Etc. You'd think that anyone with a scrap of conscience would absolutely refuse to take these wingnuts' ideas seriously, much less fawn over them in front of a worldwide TV audience.

Couple of additional articles for your End-ertainment (har! har!)

Meanwhile, our New Agers are feeling pretty smug, knowing the real Apocalypse won't happen until 2012, as predicted by the Mayans. Because this stuff is somehow far more credible than similar predictions made by ancient Mideastern desert tribes, I gather. No word on why this is so, though.

Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out the Rapture happened ten years ago, but nobody measured up and not a single person got to go? Yeahhh. Sounds like a lucrative movie plot to me.

In order to not depress you further, here are a few animal-related items, most of which are only midly apocalyptic in tone:

  • In addition to global war, another precondition for the end of the world is a perfectly red cow. Don't ask me why. I've read Revelations a couple of times and I don't remember anything about red cows. Seems that all this time, the one thing standing between us and the end of the world is the fact that all the "red" cows you see out there have a few non-red hairs somewhere, which makes them impure, or something. But at least one cattle rancher is working on it. (more here.)
  • Pharyngula links to a video clip of the weirdest caterpillar I've ever seen. Never mind all that silly business with six-headed goats of Babylon and so forth. This beastie's real, and it's been caught on video.
  • Remember that polar bear / grizzly hybrid that was in the news recently? (This is another sign of the apocalypse, incidentally.) On a weekend getaway a few weeks ago, we were out in the Columbia Gorge for a couple days and wandered into an antique store, as we occasionally do. I usually don't sift through stacks of old National Geographics, but I did this time, and ended up buying a few issues from the late 50's. The April 1957 issue included an article by the retiring director of the National Zoo in DC, reminiscing about all the animals he'd worked with over the years. On page 515 there's a photo of a pair of bear cubs, polar bear / Alaskan brown bear hybrids.

    I was all excited for a bit, thinking I'd found a forgotten predecessor to the recently discovered (and immediately shot as a trophy) one. If you read the news stories closely, though, they do mention that previous hybrids had occurred in zoos. These particular hybrids are apparently the second generation of offspring from an amusing accident. From the Wikipedia article about bear hybrids:

    In 1936, a male polar bear accidentally got into an enclosure with a female Kodiak (Alaskan Brown) bear at the US National Zoo, resulting in three hybrid offspring. One hybrid was named Willy and grew into an immense specimen. The hybrid offspring were fertile and able to breed successfully with each other, indicating that the two species of bear are closely related. The Kodiak is also considered by many to be a variant or subspecies of the basic arctic (circumpolar) brown bear.

    I imagine the cubs shown in the National Geographic article are the result of the aforementioned hybrid offspring (in)breeding with each other. All sources are silent on what became of the cubs, in the end.

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